How an investigation happens
By law, Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) can only investigate incidents at work sites that fall under provincial OHS legislation. Serious injuries or incidents that are required to be reported to the Director of Inspection as soon as possible are defined in Section 40 of the OHS Act.
After a serious incident takes place at a work site, the prime contractor or, if there is no prime contractor, the employer must report the time, place and nature of the injury or incident to the Director of Inspection as soon as possible. To report, call the OHS Contact Centre at 1-866-415-8690.
Once a call is received, it is triaged by the Investigations Unit and assigned to an OHS investigator.
OHS investigators investigate the work site to determine the causes and circumstances of the serious injury or incident.
During the course of an investigation, OHS collects information and analyzes it to prepare an investigation report summarizing the circumstances of the incident.
OHS conducts an enforcement action review of the investigation, to determine if the incident file should be submitted to Alberta Justice for consideration for prosecution. Files that are not referred to Alberta Justice are closed and the investigation report is released to the public.
Files referred to Alberta Justice are reviewed to determine if the case can support charges laid. When a case does not support a reasonable likelihood of a conviction or if the prosecution is not in the public interest, the investigation is closed and the investigation report is released to the public.
When Alberta Justice determines there is a reasonable likelihood of conviction and the prosecution is in the public interest, charges are laid. Once the summons has been served to all accused work site parties, the OHS charges are posted online at OHS charges pending.
OHS publishes fatality investigation reports online after investigations and all court proceedings, if any, are completed.
OHS also issues industry notices about fatalities at Alberta work sites.
Disclaimer: In case of any inconsistency between this information and the OHS Act, Regulation or Code, the legislation will always prevail.